British Intelligence: Al Qaeda Plotting Mass Attacks Against Western Targets

Posted: Jan 09, 2015 4:22 PM

The severity and urgency of the threat may fluctuate, but it never goes away. Radical Islamists are intent on killing, and they'll do so anywhere they can -- from New York, to Boston, to DC, to Fort Hood, to Ottawa, to London, to Madrid, to Paris, to Brussels, to Mumbai, to China, to Syndey, to Bali, to all across the Middle East and Africa (including the latest horrific Boko Haram massacre in Nigeria).  Three of these monsters may lie dead in Paris today, but their twisted brethren are preparing to inflict more destruction on Western targets, warns Britain's M15 security service:

Al Qaeda militants in Syria are plotting attacks to inflict mass casualties in the West, possibly against transport systems or "iconic targets", the head of Britain's MI5 Security Service said on Thursday. Speaking after gunmen killed 12 people in an assault on a French satirical newspaper, MI5 boss Andrew Parker warned a strike on the United Kingdom was highly likely. "A group of core al Qaeda terrorists in Syria is planning mass casualty attacks against the West," Director General Parker said in a rare public speech at MI5 headquarters in London. His last public speech was in October 2013. In the speech, planned before the killings in Paris, Parker said seasoned al Qaeda militants in Syria aimed to "cause large-scale loss of life, often by attacking transport systems or iconic targets" in the West.

That bolded text reveals that this intel has been simmering for awhile, which reminds me of reports about a shadowy Syria-based Al Qaeda offshoot known as the "Khorasan Group."  Has the chatter about their devious handiwork gotten loud enough that M15 decided to go public and urge vigilance?  It's terrifying, which is the whole idea.  And it's disspiritingly effective:

Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which angered Muslims by publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad 10 years ago, will not republish Charlie Hebdo's cartoons due to security concerns, the only major Danish newspaper not to do so. "It shows that violence works," the newspaper stated in its editorial on Friday. Denmark's other major newspapers have all republished cartoons from the French satirical weekly as part of the coverage of the attack which killed 12 people in Paris on Wednesday..."We have lived with the fear of a terrorist attack for nine years, and yes, that is the explanation why we do not reprint the cartoons, whether it be our own or Charlie Hebdo's," Jyllands-Posten said. "We are also aware that we therefore bow to violence and intimidation."

As Allahpundit says, this is at least an "honest surrender," as compared to countless others in the news media who profess faux solidarity with Charlie Hebdo's slain journalists and cartoonists while continuing to censor the images seized upon as an excuse to kill.  To wit, here's quote after quote of relativistic manure from the New York Times' executive editor:

“Was it hard to deny our readers these images? Absolutely. But we still have standards, and they involve not running offensive material,” Baquet told the Washington Examiner. “That includes the videos of beheadings, by the way...I agree that the cartoons are central to the story. And it was hard as hell not to publish them. But to understand the real sensitivity of this issues you would have to publish the most sensitive images,” Baquet said...“Have you seen them? They are sexual, and truly provocative. They are not the ones a handful of papers have run. Those are mild. If you really want to understand the issue, you would have to show the most over-the-top images,” he said. “And they don't meet our standards. They are provocative on purpose. They show religious figures in sexual positions. We do not show those.” Elsewhere, in separate statement to Politico, Baquet explained that the New York Times is also trying to avoid offending its Muslim readers: “[L]et's not forget the Muslim family in Brooklyn who read us and is offended by any depiction of what he sees as his prophet...I don't give a damn about the head of [the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] but I do care about that family and it is arrogant to ignore them,” he said

In short: Yes, the images are newsworthy, but no, they won't publish them because they're just as "truly provocative" and sensitive as, er, beheading videos.  Oh, and the Times' journalistic mission evidently entails not offending "that Muslim family in Brooklyn," or whatever.  The Examiner piece goes on to rehearse some recent history, utterly destroying the alleged principle involved:

In 1999, the New York Times republished an image of Chris Ofili's “The Holy Virgin Mary,” a painting “with a clump of elephant dung on one breast and cutouts of genitalia from pornographic magazines in the background,” Politico reported. Also, in 2005, 2006 and 2010, the New York Times republished anti-Semitic cartoons. Further, between 2009 and 2011, the New York Times published multiple images with racial overtones, Gawker reported.

Why the disparity? Because the Times wasn't afraid of Christians or Jews firebombing or shooting up their offices. It really is that simple. Any other explanation is craven posturing.  I'll leave you with something much more useful and edifying from Times world: A thoughtful and important piece by David Brooks on freedom, values and speech codes. Strongly endorsed.